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Eastment MC, Berry K, Locke E, Green P, O'Hare A, Crothers K, Dominitz JA, Fan VS, Shah JA, Ioannou GN. BMI and Outcomes of SARS-CoV-2 Among US Veterans. Obesity (Silver Spring, Md.). 2021 May 1; 29(5):900-908.
OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study is to examine the associations of BMI with testing positive for severe acute respiratory coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and risk of adverse outcomes in a cohort of Veterans Affairs enrollees. METHOD: Adjusted relative risks/hazard ratios (HRs) were calculated for the associations between BMI category (underweight, normal weight, overweight, class 1 obesity, class 2 obesity, and class 3 obesity) and testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 or experiencing hospitalization, intensive care unit admission, mechanical ventilation, and death among those testing positive. RESULTS: Higher BMI categories were associated with higher risk of a positive SARS-CoV-2 test compared with the normal weight category (class 3 obesity adjusted relative risk: 1.34, 95% CI: 1.28-1.42). Among 25,952 patients who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, class 3 obesity was associated with higher risk of mechanical ventilation (adjusted HR [aHR]: 1.77, 95% CI: 1.35-2.32) and mortality (aHR: 1.42, 95% CI: 1.12-1.78) compared with normal weight individuals. These associations were present primarily in patients younger than 65 and were attenuated or absent in older age groups (interaction P? < 0.05). CONCLUSION: Veterans Affairs enrollees with higher BMI were more likely to test positive for SARS-CoV-2 and were more likely to be mechanically ventilated or die if infected with SARS-CoV-2. Higher BMI contributed relatively more to the risk of death in those younger than 65 years of age as compared with other age categories.